Rahul Bose‘s upcoming directorial venture, Poorna, has been winning praises for it’s brilliant and inspiring trailer. The movie tells the story of Poorna Malavath, who became the youngest girl ever to climb Mount Everest, under very harsh conditions in 2014. When asked what gave her the strength to succeed, she said, “Main dikhana chahti thi ki ladkiyan kuch bhi kar sakti hair.”, and to celebrate this very spirit, Rahul Bose Productions alongside IndiGo and Ray Media decided to host a unique conclave with ‘Ladkiyan Kuch Bhi Kar Sakti Hain’ as its theme. The conclave wonderfully highlighted the contribution of women achievers who accomplished their dreams defying all odds.

Sitting on the panel were some of India’s most inspiring women – Zoya Akhtar, Barkha Dutt, Sakshi Malik, and Poorna Malavath – who shared with us some tremendously inspiring stories from their lives.  PS – This was the first time ever that these four personalities were on dais together. Here are snippets of their stories.

Sakshi Malik

The day I decided to play wrestling, my relatives and neighbours started criticising my choice left, right and centre. My schoolmates used to make fun of me because I was on special diet and carried bottle of milk in school… Now, after my achievement, though they are happy, they scrutinise my achievement.

Zoya Akhtar

Though I come from a privileged background, as my debut film didn’t work I had to start from scratch. Since the industry is sexist, they criticise me as ‘she is bossy’ and I reply to them, ‘I am not bossy, I am the boss here’. Yes, people have issues with taking command from a lady.

Poorna Malavath

Poorna Malavath

I have grown up hearing ‘girls cannot be achievers, they are good for nothing.’ Perhaps that is why, at the age of 13, when I submitted the Mount Everest, on that very moment, I felt, ‘yes, I am a girl and girls can do anything’. However, it becomes a task to continue the journey once you achieve the high.

Rahul Bose, who was moderating this event, said:

When our partners IndiGo shared with us the wonderful work they were doing towards empowering women, we knew we had a great chance to tie in what Poorna said after she summitted with the wonderful work IndiGo is doing. And what better way to make this line come alive than to hear real life stories of both, women starting on their life journeys as well as women who have experienced the greatest success in their professions. Personally I really enjoyed chatting with Riya, Yashaswini, Priyanka and Sneha from IndiGo whose stories are a real indicator of what women can achieve. Hearing the incredible journeys of Zoya, Barkha, Sakshi and Poorna was truly a learning experience and understanding of how women on top get out there to show the world what they are capable of!

Poorna also had a special message for youngsters.

No matter how much criticism you are dealing with in the process of achieving your goal, how society is scrutinising your achievement because you are a girl, remember, we girls are no less than boys, with determination, we girls can achieve anything.

This was such an empowering conclave to be a part of because it brought to the fore women’s struggles and their stories of how they overcame it, inspiring us all! Poorna releases on the 31st March and you must go catch it at a theatre near you.